ceres Special Considerations Policy

ceres EUROPE (NI) Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy


This policy covers access to assessment requests  for learners including special arrangements or considerations in order to complete their assessment.

The purpose of this policy is to set out the procedures and requirements for Centres wishing to make special arrangements or considerations for a learner.   Reasonable adjustment or special consideration may be given to learners to ensure reasonable and fair access to assessment and ensure that assessment continues to enable valid, reliable and consistent judgements to be made about the achievement of all learning criteria against the stated assessment criteria.

  1. ceres complies with legislation relating to race, gender, disability and special educational needs as well as providing equal access to assessment for all candidates. This includes:
    Race Relations Act Amendment
    Equalities Act
    Disability Discrimination Act
    SEN and Disability Rights in Education Bill
    Human Rights Act
  2. ceres adheres to guidance provided by Joint Council for Qualifications and defined in “Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration”. This document is available on the iCQ e-portfolio website or can be found in the ‘Arranging Access’ section of the Joint Council website at www.jcq.org.uk
  3. ceres monitor and evaluate requests for and application of access, reasonable adjustment, special considerations and mitigating circumstances.  IQA Staff endeavour to ensure consistency between Assessors and of decisions.  Evaluation reports will be shared with the regulatory authorities as required.
  4. Applications for both reasonable arrangements and special considerations will be monitored on an annual basis, to ensure compliance.
  5. On submission of assessment documentation to ceres, IQA Staff must identify any learner that has received special consideration or reasonable adjustment to their assessment.
  6. IQA Staff must ensure evidence to support a special consideration or reasonable adjustment:
    • Meets the approved specification
    • Enables assessment against the specified outcomes and assessment criteria
    • Can be verified where appropriate place
    • Does not unfairly advantage or disadvantage the learner

ceres will retain evidence for 6 months, from the date of assessment.

  1. Assessment must be a fair judge of a learner’s skills and/or knowledge; for some learners an alternative assessment may be required.
  2. Special consideration
    1. Each learner is entitled to equal access to assessment to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and competency as defined by the unit or qualification. Any special consideration proposed by the Centre must not compromise the integrity of the unit or qualification; special consideration should not give an unfair advantage to the learner
    2. Special consideration must be agreed by the IQA Staff prior to assessment
    3. Special consideration may be made for an assessment where the learner may have a temporary illness, injury or disposition at the time of the assessment
    4. The grant of any special consideration arrangements should ensure that:
      • the arrangements do not invalidate the specified assessment requirements set out in the specifications for unit or qualification
      • reflect the current needs and methods of working of individual learners
      • maintain relevance, reliability and comparability of assessment.
  3. Reasonable adjustment
    1. Centres may make a reasonable adjustment to assessment where a learner:
      • has a paramagnet disability or specific learning need
      • has a temporary disability, medical condition or specific learning need
  4. ceres treats all requests for reasonable adjustments in confidence.
  5. ceres will provide advice to learners on the type and nature of assessment for a unit or qualification prior to undertaking the qualification. This will enable the learner to make an informed decision about their choice of qualification.
  6. Centres are not required to request a reasonable adjustment where the adjustment is within the guidelines outlined in “Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration” .
  7. Centres are required to apply reasonable adjustments consistently.
  8. Where reasonable adjustment is made, ceres will retain evidence to support their decision and provide the evidence on request.
  9. Special assessment
    1. ceres will request from Assessors support evidence of the need for a special assessment a minimum of 10 days prior to the assessment date
    2. Evidence may include a relevant diagnostic report or statement of learning needs or medical condition; evidence must be held by the Centre and be made available on request.
  10. Learners with reading/writing or learning difficulties
    The following may be permissible; Assessors should consult the unit or qualification guidance:

    • Use of reader and/or scribe
    • Use of assistant
    • Use of modified print/paper colour
    • Extra time can be allocated (up 25% of original assessment time).
  1. Learners with hearing difficulties. The following may be permissible; Assessors should consult the unit or qualification guidance:
    • Use of an interpreter
    • Use of British Sign Language
    • Use of suitable aids (recommended for the hearing impaired)
    • Extra time can be allocated (up 25% of original assessment time).


  1. Learners whose first language is not English. The following may be permissible; Assessors should consult the unit or qualification guidance:
    • Use of dictionary
    • Extra time can be allocated (up 25% of original assessment time)See also Use of Language Statement.
  1. Mitigating circumstances
    1. Centres should advise Awarding Bodies in writing within 5 working days of the assessment of any mitigating circumstances on behalf of a learner that result in the learner being unable to undertake or complete an assessment. Such circumstances can be:
      • Personal illness, accident, bereavement prior to or during the assessment; serious disturbance during the assessment
      • Special consideration or reasonable adjustment was inappropriate or inadequate.
    2. ceres will notify Assessors within 2 weeks as to whether the migrating circumstances are valid. Where valid learners will be offered the opportunity to complete their assessment.
  1. Centres should note that failure to adhere to this policy may lead to temporary or permanent removal of centre approval, learner registration or issue of certification